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Arbitron Study Shows 35 Million ‘Premium’ Listeners, Sirius XM Says

Satcaster also says its users are more highly educated and have higher income than terrestrial listeners

Sirius XM said an Arbitron study of satellite radio subscribers found listenership is larger than previously estimated and also scores higher on key demographic criteria compared to the general population and to AM/FM radio listeners.

The satcaster said the study, conducted in October and November, showed that more than 35 million total adult listeners tune in to Sirius XM; 32 million of those are weekly listeners.

The study found Sirius XM listeners prefer satellite radio over other audio options available to them. Respondents indicated that the percent of total time spent listening to audio in general is 62% to Sirius XM, 16% to AM/FM, 4% to streaming Internet and 10% of the time using mobile devices.

Arbitron found that in a typical day, Sirius XM in-car listeners spend 71% of their time listening to Sirius XM compared with 17% of their time listening to AM/FM radio, and 5% of the time using mobile devices.

Scarborough data from Arbitron revealed that Sirius XM listeners are typically highly educated and affluent.

Some 56% of Sirius XM listeners graduated from college or have advanced degrees compared with 24% of AM/FM radio listeners; and 24% of Sirius XM listeners have household incomes of $150,000 or more compared with 9% of AM/FM radio listeners.

The satcaster also said the study shows that its audience is receptive to commercials. Of those who indicated they were more likely to change the channel when a commercial came on, in comparing Sirius XM and AM/FM radio, Sirius XM listeners are 61% more likely to stay with a commercial on satellite radio than with those that air on AM/FM radio stations.

The Arbitron study excluded Sirius XM’s music channels since they are commercial-free. The study focused solely on Sirius XM’s news, talk, entertainment, sports and other commercial programming channels.